KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Approximately 50 Soldiers from the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command deployed to Kaiserslautern, Germany Aug. 10, to support XVIII Airborne Corps during Operation Swift Response, a three-week multinational exercise.
Deployment is nothing new to many of the Soldiers serving in the 3rd ESC. The unit has deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as to Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response. 3rd ESC continually strives to maintain the expeditionary mindset, being prepared to deploy anywhere, at any time.
In late 2014, the 3rd ESC returned from Afghanistan where it served as the last ESC to provide single sustainment mission command during Operation Enduring Freedom, in addition to accomplishing what is arguably the largest and most difficult retrograde in the modern era.
While Germany serves as another location where the sustainers can train and hone their logistical expertise, it also holds a deeper meaning for the 3rd ESC as a whole - a heritage of service in Germany dating back to 1967 in Worms.
The 3rd Corps Support Command (COSCOM), or 3rd ESC as it is known today, served a total of 38 years in Germany, earning prestige through its exceptional efforts during the Return of Forces to Germany exercise and the annual Nijmegen road march.
Lt. Col. Egan, the support operations officer-in-charge with the 3rd ESC, served in the 3rd COSCOM and said while certain elements of the 3rd ESC remained similar, there were plenty of things that had changed.
"Back when I was with COSCOM we didn't have Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelters (DRASH) or the Command Post of the Future (CPOF)," said Egan. "We had laptops then, but the communications capabilities in the 3rd ESC now are light years ahead."
Egan said he first arrived to the ESC as a captain, and was happy to be able to return.
"I came as a junior captain and learned things here that helped me as I progressed in my career," said Egan. "I served over 5 years in COSCOM and it was great to be able to come back to the ESC."
The 3rd ESC served in Germany for nearly four decades, sustaining units, providing mission command and using lessons learned to make it the leading expeditionary force it is today.
The 3rd ESC continues that tradition of sustainment today by extending the operational reach of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, as well as supporting the XVIII Airborne Corps, enabling the Corps freedom of movement across the joint operational area during Operation Swift Response - the largest combined airborne training exercise in modern history.
The 3rd ESC will continue to support the XVIII Airborne Corps, and is scheduled to complete its transition to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, toward the end of the year.
Col. Mendel Waddell, G3 officer in charge with the 3rd ESC said the unit will relocate to Fort Bragg to better support the XVIII Airborne Corps.
"Currently, the 3rd ESC is the only CONUS based active duty ESC not located with its aligned corps," said Waddell. "The movement of the 3rd ESC to Fort Bragg will provide the XVIII Airborne Corps and the global response force a dedicated operational sustainment headquarters and the capability to leverage strategic enablers, just as we've accomplished for Swift Response 15."